The US Virgin Islands Best Guide

Checking a Packed Cooler with Airlines

Notifications
Clear all

Checking a Packed Cooler with Airlines

Please Register / Login to take part in discussions about the Virgin Islands.


19 Posts
10 Users
0 Reactions
4,664 Views
(@sister1116)
Posts: 8
Active Member
Topic starter
 

Any help would be great...

We are traveling to St. John in July and are planning on checking a cooler with some foods for meals to save on the expenses. Does anyone have any first hand information regarding checking the cooler with the Airlines(Continental).

Thanks,

Lisa

 
Posted : February 1, 2009 12:15 pm
(@waterguy)
Posts: 455
Reputable Member
 

I do it all the time I have a poler bear cooler and thecni ice I use it is 24 hrs from my door to STJ and everything is still frozen then we use the cooler for the beack it has back pack straps make hiking to the beach easier the trying to carry one.

 
Posted : February 1, 2009 12:46 pm
(@sister1116)
Posts: 8
Active Member
Topic starter
 

Thanks for the tip. What is cni ice?

 
Posted : February 1, 2009 3:12 pm
(@margy-z)
Posts: 313
Reputable Member
 

Techni Ice. We use it, too, in our checked coolers. We take a soft-sides cooler of frozen and another of just refrigerated stuff and pack them both in a rolling duffel. Techni Ice is great stuff, much easier than messing with dry ice and it's reusable. Once it is activated and frozen once, you can also use it as a hot pack, too, by heating it in the microwave. Very handy to have while on-island to keep beverages cold at the beach. You can buy it direct or get good prices on it on eBay.

Here's the site to see what it's all about: http://www.techniice.com/

 
Posted : February 1, 2009 4:22 pm
(@blaze)
Posts: 119
Estimable Member
 

We often pack a soft sided cooler (about one square foot) full of frozen food in a suitcase, and it works perfectly. The trick is to pack the cooler tightly and full of food, and freeze the entire cooler in a deep freezer for a few days prior to departure. Then pack the cooler into the luggage as you head to the airport. No need for added ice which adds weight. Everything will be fine and ready for the fridge when you arrive, even 12-18 hours later(tu)

 
Posted : February 1, 2009 5:57 pm
(@vi_bound)
Posts: 264
Reputable Member
 

I use the pack it then freeze it trick as well but we don't have a deep freezer. I just put it on the back porch and let nature take care of it. I figure below zero is cold enough.

 
Posted : February 2, 2009 6:37 pm
(@sister1116)
Posts: 8
Active Member
Topic starter
 

Thanks for all the responses.

Lisa

 
Posted : February 3, 2009 9:53 am
(@bnsilly)
Posts: 88
Estimable Member
 

Really??? Is it that much cheaper? What do you pack? I am thinking it must be mostly steak, etc?? I am
just curious. Might be something I will look into for our next trip..I was just wondering if it would be worth the
hassle, etc...??

 
Posted : February 3, 2009 4:41 pm
(@blaze)
Posts: 119
Estimable Member
 

Last time we packed fresh meats for several dinners - steaks, chicken breasts, pork tenderloin, baby back ribs. Lunchmeats for sandwiches, breakfast sausage, yogurt in various flavors, and a couple packages of cheeses. I don't think it saves you any money if you have to pay to check it as it's own extra piece of luggage. But if you can make room for a smallish soft sided cooler in a necessary piece of luggage, and if you buy the items on sale in the last few weeks before your trip, you will save $$, since meats, cheeses and dairy are quite pricey on the island. The $$ we saved made us feel that we could go to nicer restaurants for some special dinners during our trip. These days everyone has to be mindfull of that old phrase...... A penny saved is a penny earned!

 
Posted : February 3, 2009 6:12 pm
(@vi_bound)
Posts: 264
Reputable Member
 

I used to bring "special items" when we brought the kids down. This past trip I packed a ton of sirloin tips that I had marinated before the trip. We had a great BBQ with friends one night and took care of all of it along with local foods. We only bring things like that now and only if we're just there for a week. If you know where to shop in the islands the price (with the exception of dairy products) aren't that much higher than they are in New England (we get screwed too).

 
Posted : February 3, 2009 6:55 pm
 TomB
(@tomb)
Posts: 763
Prominent Member
 

I am with you VI Bound
I just have never seen a big enough price break or quality delta to justify the cooler haul.

Now if I had special needs or dietary concerns it makes a lot of sense
I am big supporter of being in control of your own destiny

Lot of folks do it
Now the airlines are charging you for bags
not sure if the price break is still there

but that is why the world is so fun - everybody sees it a little different

 
Posted : February 3, 2009 7:48 pm
(@waterguy)
Posts: 455
Reputable Member
 

I don't do it for the price break I like to bring high end things that are hard to find on island. Also like to bring things local friends can't get a give them away for a treat.

 
Posted : February 4, 2009 10:45 am
(@margy-z)
Posts: 313
Reputable Member
 

We don't really do it for the savings - don't see that much difference except maybe on higher-end meats and there's a great selection of items and brands. You can find everything you need on island - my issue is that although you CAN find it, you may have to run around from place to place to get it. In that respect, it's the same as here at home where we may have to hit 5-6 different stores to get everything we'd like to have. But, at home, we plan shopping trips better and keep multiples in a pantry so don't have to hit all of the stores each time. Vacations are way too short and we're just not willing to devote too much beach time to getting groceries. Provisioning is great for a couple of days worth of things but it can get expensive if you provision everything. We bring the things that we like and try to devote as little time as possible to stocking up for our stay. That usually means a quick hit at K-Mart for pool noodles and to check out the liquor , a longer stop at Cost-U-Less for liquor, sodas, water, fresh vegetables, bakery, and then a final stop at Plaza Extra for the rest of the groceries.

 
Posted : February 4, 2009 12:16 pm
 TomB
(@tomb)
Posts: 763
Prominent Member
 

Waterguy I can relate to the high end...

When my son was living down there when he came home to visit we would have to go to Arbys on the way to the airport
He would step off the plane with 12 Arbys roast beefs he was king of the island. Even 6 hours cold.

If there is something that you long for or makes the vacation ideal - bring it!

Me between new wine shop and starfish market - I can survive.

cheers

 
Posted : February 4, 2009 9:44 pm
(@politico234)
Posts: 2
New Member
 

Is there a customs issue with trying to bring this food onto the island?

 
Posted : February 5, 2009 12:55 am
(@connie)
Posts: 1634
Noble Member
 

We've had no problem at all. We used a regular Igloo cooler with a handle pull. We froze everything using seal-a-meal. We cleaned and marinated chicken, froze hamburgers, butter, porkroll, sausage, etc. Sorry, I just trust chicken I get from a local place here more then I do in STT. We duck taped the sides. They did open it, but taped up again.

It was great when we went with 12 people, among them mostly 20 somethings who eat constantly. The cost of going out and continuously buying food just wouldn't have worked for us. We did stop at different places and if we needed something, like bread rolls, vegetables and fruit, then we did it.

I highly recommend doing this, especially if you have more than 2 people.

When it's just the husband and myself we usually only bring a few chicken breasts, bacon and porkroll. We especially like to eat breakfast in.

 
Posted : February 5, 2009 9:52 am
(@mahojim)
Posts: 284
Reputable Member
 

I'm also on board with the 'bringing of the cooler' situation.
Nothing like grilling on the patio by the pool after a long day of swimming & drinking!
MargyZ had a great point about running around looking for desired items at different stores. I'd venture to say that even 'shopping' on STJ is fun, but sometimes it feels like you're using Monopoly money because you're just so happy to be there. That's where the cost goes up, for me at least. I'm pretty much a moron when it comes to shoppimg, and tend to overspend. Thank God for my more sensible Amy!
Aside from that, we like to pack as lightly as possible, and use the cooler on the way home to pack any souvenirs/t-shirts, etc.. that we pick up along the trip.
We also eat meals out plenty, as well, enjoy trying new things, and munching on the local food.
Besides, we'd rather spend more time on the beach or at a groovy bar than waiting in line at a checkout counter.
When we do it right, the only thing we really have to constantly restock at the villa would be more ice, beer, booze, burger/dog buns, and fresh veggies/salad stuff.
Boy do I wish I was there now. It's too cold here in NJ for my skinny ass!
Smiles-
MJ

 
Posted : February 5, 2009 10:58 am
(@margy-z)
Posts: 313
Reputable Member
 

Politico - Coming from the US you do not go through customs on arrival, only on departure.

As you come into the customs hall and TSA (or "the other side of the wall" as I call it) when you leave the customs agents will ask you if you have food. Because of the seemingly endless construction mess at Mimai airport where we connect we have begun stopping to pick up our own sandwiches on our way to airport so we will have something for the plane. We also pack some snacks in our carry-ons. So, when they ask us if we have food we just answer "No, only snacks" and that seems to be the right answer. Last year there was a woman in our group who got too specific - even though we veterans had all told her just to say that all she had was her own snack with her (which was true, it was not like she was importing food back to the US mainland). She started listing off the several pieces of fruit she had with her and they took it all. 🙁 She *itched about her lost apples all the way to Miami but, hey, we told her! 🙂

Mahojim - I'm with you - we find ourselves packing lighter and lighter each time. With having a washer/dryer in the villa we find we can get by on less and less. We actually find ourselves planning more on the food side of things than the clothes and stuff. We really love to cook in after a long sandy day on the beach - there's time to really enjoy grilling and there's no way we have THAT view from our kitchen or grill here at home. I bring my own spices and we bring our own coffee. We're big on bringing those little packets of condiments that you can get from a deli or with fast food. There's just no way we can go through a full bottle of catsup or mayo. There's a great online store that has all of that stuff in little packets, too, Minimus - they are great for travel sizes of a ton of products: http://www.minimus.biz/default.aspx

 
Posted : February 5, 2009 11:57 am
(@politico234)
Posts: 2
New Member
 

Thank you so much for the response, Margy. I'll be visiting St. Thomas in May, and I was thinking about bringing food, but I figured I would run into problems with customs. I'm glad it won't be an issue (until perhaps I leave).

 
Posted : February 6, 2009 8:26 am

St. Thomas Activities

Set sail on top-rated charters, explore underwater wonders with scuba diving, encounter exotic animals, and venture into the wild with kayaking and ecotours. Feel the adrenaline with parasailing, aerial tours, and water sports for a memorable vacation.
Book Your St. Thomas Adventure Now
Virgin Islands Books & Maps